In The News

U. Delaware Scientists Study Falling Adélie Penguin Populations, Antarctic Food Web

Adélie penguins, cute little creatures whose body markings give them a tuxedo year-round, are a regimented bunch. They have been found to do the same things each breeding season regardless of how the climate has changed in Antarctica. But their predictable behavior isn’t a good thing, as scientists believe their quirks may be leading their population into decline. Going along with drops in the number of adélies, gentoo and chinstrap penguin populations have gone up. And though a suspicion exists that their regimented activities may be playing a role in adélie declines, scientists still can’t say for sure without hard data.

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Study finds major coverage gaps in network of flood-predicting rainfall satellites

For many Americans, the influence of the weather forecast barely extends beyond the closet and its contents: sweater, jacket or coat. But farmers and residents of flood-prone regions — particularly those in developing countries — make critical decisions based on those same predictions. A new study from Cornell University examined the global network of satellites used to power rainfall forecasts around the world, and found some major shortcomings in the system. Their findings, published in Environmental Research Letters, show that satellite-based flood prediction is unreliable for many parts of the world, and that four of the 10 satellites examined have surpassed their intended design life.

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GAO continues climate, satellite gap warnings in risk report

The United States government could see a big bill due to too few satellites and climate change, according to a Scientific American article . The Government Accountability Office released its biennial report on risks to government programs, listing climate change and weather satellite gaps as two of several high-cost items. Climate change is considered high-cost because it causes multiple problems such as frequent severe weather events and rising sea levels, which threaten government property and flood insurance programs. The report also indicated that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration could be without polar orbiting satellites for at least a year, three months longer than NOAA’s original estimate.

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